Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Yes that’s the exclamation !!! One uses when delighted by service excellence:

McDonald's at Panvel. We drove in and within 90 seconds we were out with our order fulfilled. 

Order - Payment & Delivery Turnaround Time - 90 Seconds. After Making Payment at Drive Thru Counter we came to Delivery Counter i.e. 15 seconds and he was ready with our packet of delivery.  ( Order, Payment Took 70 seconds ). Total Item = 7. 

Big M visible from distance ,Security at the Gate to guide vehicles, Drive Thru lane, Order and Payment Counter, Delivery Counter, Packaging, Quality of food of course and staff efficiency. All touch pints were well in place to create well deserved WOW!!!

Thinking of Drive Thru Services, Design of entire road map i.e. entry of vehicle to exit, placement of counters, internal processes of design of order, pick up,
packaging and delivery all were DESIGNED.

Unless every customer facing touch points and processes are thoughtfully DESIGNED it will not create Service Excellence WOW!! 

Most of the time entrepreneurs miss out on Customer Facing Design. Factories and Shops are designed meticulously. Spent hours and days on Brand ,Logos,employee uniform. But no investments in employee training, processes which are critical for customer delight, making it easy and quick for CUSTOMER to deal with the company. No Clue.  We have tons of call centers but no thinking on how and what is the convenience for the customer to reach out when in need.  Pressing 10s of buttons before someone speak to u is ridiculous. Every company has website but email link to contact the company is more often than not takes hours to find. It should be on every page and clearly visible so that when the visitors want to take action it’s there. We have internal control audits but no audits on CUSTOMER Friendliness of Business Processes!!!

Uff long way before businesses wakes up and put CUSTOMER at the center stage of their activities & final suggestion to McDonalds’, CUSTOMER in drive thru services eats while travelling so;

1) Tissue paper for hand clean 
2) Waste paper bag to keep all the waste  
3) Wet tissue napkins to freshen up 

Will add to the customer DELIGHT.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Who R Your ADVISORS??? Everyone needs not One but MANY.

I have three personal advisors:

1) Technology for Me - My Son ( Age: Late Teen )
2) My Fashion and Entertainment - My Daughter ( Age: Early Teen )
3) My Diet and Fitness - My Wife ( Well,  Fitness Guru )

I am thinking that what (all the 3 areas) I used to handle once upon a time, I was having latest updates on the subjects is NOW not within my domain!!!
This applies to everyone in life be it individual or entrepreneurs. Tom Peter in his one of the books (Circle of Innovation)  a decade back had written that if yr IT dept has no one in the age of Teen , yr are soon going to be obsolete.

As a successful entrepreneur ( With I know Everything Bug/EGO )  if One is not investing in the start up business started by people in their teens and twenties & if one is  not surrounded by various critical domain experts, hie/her business OBITUARY is in the making.

To make 2011 Happier, take decisions which U have never taken out of fear /EGO or any such emotions or U thought U dont need to.

Wake Up to the new realities of 21st Century.  Decade No. 2.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Top Management Priorities sans CUSTOMER

  1. More Sales ( At the cost of Customer Dissatisfaction & Employee Stress )
  2. M & A ( Value Creator or Destroyer )
  3. Whatever Little Governance or Managing Governing Board
  4. Expansion ( Manageable & Non Managable )
  5. PE  ( Promoter's Wealth Creation )
  6. Valuation & Complex Legal Structuring (  At the benefit of legal and accounting experts )
  7. IPO + FPO + AGR + GDR ( With cooked Balance Sheets? Well May b. )
  8. Govt & Bureaucracy  Lobbying ( @ the cost of Morality and Public Trust )
  9. Self Branding ( Personal Visibility and Popularity )
These are the priorities of TOP MANAGEMENT over Creation of Memorable and Delightful CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

Bottom-line Remains - Customer is the CAUSE of profit , value and Valuation!!!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Design of Customer Happiness Circle

Its Win Win for all the Stake holders. Have any company ever done assessment of Stress Generated from their Corporate Activities?? We have surveys of Carbon Emission , but What abt Human Stress Emission? Today's Corporations are Stress Emission Machines. 

Corporate Must Shift their Model of Success from Share Holders to Customers. Measuring Happiness should be the Agenda at the year end.  

Who will take the lead? Zappos.com is the one I know. Share here if u know some one else.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Customer Centricity of the Organisation – Culture Assessment

Customer Centricity of the Organisation – Culture Assessment

Top Management

1) CEO or Board Discusses Customer Feedback?     Yes / No / Seldom
2) How Often CUSTOMER appears on the agenda of the board?   
3) Company has some one IN CHARGE of end to end customer experience with the company?                              Yes / No
4) CMO or Customer In charge is a part of senior management team?                                                           Yes / No

Employee Happiness ( Does Employee Surveys Covers following Questions? )

4) Are you happier today than at the time of joining this company?  
                                                          Yes / No
5) Do you think your role is important in overall initiative of the company?                                              Yes / No
6) Your immediate boss is supportive of any new idea /suggestion / initiatives?                                              Yes / No
7) While working with this company do you think your work / personal life balance is managed as desired by you?       Yes / No
8) Do you think you can pursue hobby of your choice if given extra time from the job? If yes, name hobbies you would like to pursue.                                                           Yes / No
9) What are your dreams in life? Specify way in which company can help you to take you closer to achieve them?              Yes / No
10)Given a freedom, what immediate change you would like to do to your department/company?                                  Yes / No

Conscious Design( Business Processes )

11) Have your company designed customer touch points with customer delight in mind?                                          Yes / No
12) Does your company have complete list of Customer Delight in Action?                                                   Yes / No

What U Measure?

13) Do U measure customer experience through surveys, calls etc periodically?                                             Yes / No
14) Do you measure how many new customers are due to customer referrals of existing customers?                          Yes / No
15) Do U have planned strategy to ask for customer referrals?                                                               Yes / No
16) Customer Feedback or Experience or Stories form part of company Annual Report/Event?                              Yes / No

Pl revert with your replies at  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ideas @ IIT Mumbai Eureka 2010

Wow!! Young Indian r bubbling with Gr8 Ideas. Exciting FUTURE

What I learned ; 

1) About site www.foursquare.com
2) How Japanese Magnetic Rail Works?
3) Robotics & School Syllabus

What I Shared:

1) Dont rush for VC Money. Act Frugal and manage with money from known circle.Reasons: Entrepreneurs get flexibiity and dont sale cheap.
2) Take idea to next level. Atleast some prototype or some market traction.
3)  Have some road map to follow, it should be as detailed as possible.
4) Have team with complementary skills and allocate area of accountability.
5) Have simple business model of present problem area. Initial complexity may prove non starter.

Ideas are in plenty , Making it happen is the real challenge. 
All the best to all entrepreneurs and people with gr8 ideas for Making it Happen.

One of the ways to Win Brand Advocates

U r not MRP Controlled , U r not in Comparable Services, no one can check or make out how much U can charge and still U charge very reasonable, two things happen:

1) Win Customer for Life
2) Brand Advocate for Free

Happened with me at Garage in Borivli, Mumbai.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Movie Script & Business Script

Seen SLB's Master Piece movie GUZARISH last week. Wow - Master ART!! 

Movie making encapsulates all forms of ART. SLB has taste of creating MASTER PIECE in all forms of ART in one single movie. amazing Story, screen play, acting, music,songs,costume ,back ground sets, star selection , dialogues , every scene & every  screen , in all every other aspects meticulously thought of , planned and executed.

I wonder HOW Movie Making is different from Setting up an Enterprise or Designing Memorable Customer Experience!!! No Way.

From Script to Complete Movie from no where. From Business Plan to Running Business from no where. Movie however is tougher as unlike business there no scope for improvement post customer feedback/market response.

Therefore every thing is planned and visualized before even camera action starts. Attitude of lets go to market and we improve can not work here. That is the learning. We have entrepreneurs in a hurry to go to market, speed up and mess up on many aspects. You have your own share of learning when you touch the market but there shall not be shallow thinking at planning stage.  Nano Car learns from market reality but there must be huge thought process under gone into design and manufacturing of the Nano Car.

Be it making a master Piece Movie or setting up an enterprise or Designing Delightful Customer Experience - Its an ART ,ART to Change life of who experiences it.   


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why /Where/ When/ From Whom WE buy??

Scene 1: Mumbai Local Train, 1st Class Compartment. Vendor selling Pirated DVDs of latest last week released 6 Movies for Rs. 30/-.

All movies were good and most of the commuters wud like to see. Price was extremely attractive if u compare with ticket price plus number of members per family and 6 movies.  (6 (Movies) x 4 (Person) x 170 (Tkt Rate)) = Rs.4080/- as compared to Rs.30/-.

Still he could hardly sell one DVD among at least 100 commuters. This made me thinking WHY/WHEN/WHERE people buy?

I dont think people are still PIRACY conscious when price difference is so huge. Why DVD vendor cudn't sale more DVDs? Most people wanted to see movies, it was available very cheaply,it was available conveniently in Train so one need not travel. Still no sales???

Reasons Cud be:
1) I am conscious that I should not be seen as doing illegal act. Even if no one knows me there.
2) I will buy when I want and not when u sale.
3) Not sure about quality and not sure whom to catch if quality is bad. I dont think for Rs.30 people would mind any quality!!!
4)  I already have these DVDs or I have seen most of the movies.
5) I have no PC or laptop or player to use DVD.

I have no conclusive remarks and wud like to keep it open for readers to share their views. After all its abt people and their buying behaviors.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meeting Young Entrepreneurs @ IIT Mumbai

Entrepreneurship Cell at IIT Mumbai has invited me at their Mentoring Session on 11th Dec.

Getting in to IIT is a Dream come True. Few lacs appears and few thousand qualify. Great sense of achievement. (Unlike CA Course, entry here is difficult where as in CA course exit is difficult.)

However getting in to the IIT (Or IIM) is the beginning or the first step. Life begins when U r out of the Inys. What U do with IIT degrees matters. One CAUTION when one is from IIT, HUGE EeeeGooo. (Naturally)

Technology matters but!!!!! in the world of entrepreneurship again it is the FIRST qualifier. Success depends on Marketing and Financial Results technology brings. If not then Technology has no valve. Microsoft , a successful technology company but more than that smart marketing company with fantastic financial results.

IITians many a time believe and focus so much on technology that they ignore importance of the other 2 important business functions.  If U r in JOB then fine , other expertise are available with the company but when U r acting as an entrepreneur, one need to not only learn and acquire marketing and financial talents but also respect the importance of the same.

Technology plus Marketing Plus Finance plus Social Impact makes a successful enterprise. Look forward to meet many young IITians and come back with much more insights to share. Cheers.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Start ups Vs Stalwarts

Just now I purchased book from www.flipkart.com (amazon.com of India). So easy , convenient and price competitive , that one wud like to deal with such a supplier/seller.

Easier you are for the customer to deal with , chances are better that you will get repeat customer , referral customer.

It is not true that ONLINE business is the only easy and convenient mode of business. It applies to every business , every thinking entrepreneurs can do it.

I am a subscriber to one of the leading telecom companies for internet data card. I get their bill every month and bottom part of the bill is to be teared and attached with the cheque for drop box. 

Unfortunately all their customer care numbers and mails are printed on the back of the bottom part of the bill. So when I make payment I have no contact details of their customer care and I cant reach them easily or rather with great difficulty. 

It means they dont want u to reach them once u make bill payment!!!. I draw their attention twice but no impact yet. 

Point Is: Unless U are Customer Focused and Design for Customer Ease and Convenience  it will NOT happen by chance!! Every companies that are making our life easy , stress free and make us feel HAPPY , do it by CHOICE. High Profile Executives and IIM MBAs in the 5 Star offices and even Best of the TOP companies cant guarantee this. 

Start ups like Flipkart can !! 

Brand Building Sans Customer Experience

Brand Building Sans Customer Experience - My Article in Management Magazine 

"The Smart Manager"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pain Around Us - Why HAPPINESS is Critical for Entrepreneurs to Focus on??

Pain Around Us

1) Daily Commuting for Work
2) Prolonged Financial and Career Goals
3) Family Unrest (Spouse /Children and Parents)
4) Health Issues
5) Heavy Debt Burden
6) Children Education/ Career and Marriage
7) Heavy Traffic
8) For Entrepreneurs - Customer Acquisition and Cashflow Gaps
9) Inability to Fulfill Other Long Term Dreams 
10) Unwanted and Boring Job Profile
11) Long Q in the Malls
12) Huge Credit Card Dues & Interest Charges
13) Call Center Culture , where one holds the phone & listen more than talk/convey
14) No getting Commuting Vehicle easily in the Eve
15) U may add yours also

Can U make Out : Why HAPPINESS is a major driver to offer talk of the town product & services ??  Why Zappos.com, a US based shoe retailer is focused on Customer HAPPINESS? Is there any connection between Shoe Selling and Making Customer HAPPY?? 

How by providing your Offerings which can add and bring HAPPINESS in the life of your customer can make them not only HAPPY in his otherwise painful life but will also make them talk about their experience with your BRAND.

At the cost of short term share holders interest , invest in long term CUSTOMER HAPPINESS.  (Both will gain in the long run)

Apply yourself HARD and check HOW and WHERE element of HAPPINESS can be added in your customer experience path i.e. customer touch points with your BRAND.
Unless thoughtfully DESIGNED, it will  not happen automatically.